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“Big Data” and “video” are among the buzziest of buzzwords in HR technology — and for good reason. The rules of recruitment are changing, leaving hiring managers to meet candidates on their terms. Increasingly, job seekers want to be seen and heard on mobile, social or video rather than as faceless facts listed on résumés.

In response, some companies are using video interviewing platforms like that of Salt Lake City-based HireVue (a Cornerstone partner and the video interviewing engine inside Cornerstone Recruiting) to bring big data and analytics to the screening process. It's not a replacement for in-person interviews, but rather a way to speed up the initial screening process— and identify potential stars who might otherwise get lost in the shuffle. 

The interview questions are pre-recorded, and a predictive analytics engine rates each candidate's response on more than 15,000 variables, including word choice and enthusiasm. 

But evaluating candidates is only part of HireVue's value proposition for HR. It also evaluates an interviewer's effectiveness. We spoke with Kevin Marasco, the company's CMO, about video's potential effect on recruiting — on both sides of the hiring process. 

How common are video interviews today?

There’s a big shift taking place away from static application and résumé-first recruiting to video and digital recruiting, which is more fair and consistent. It’s becoming the new normal. We’re working with nearly 25 percent of the Fortune 100 and hundreds of small businesses. 

Are certain industries particularly well-suited to the video interview process?

When I started with HireVue a few years ago, I thought the technology would be used in certain verticals — financial services, technology, healthcare, consulting and other industries where people’s time is worth so much. It’s certainly used in those industries, but we’ve seen high adoption in sectors like retail, hospitality, energy and education. In education and the public sector, for example, budgets are often lower. We help these organizations do a lot more with the resources they have while reducing operating costs.

How can a video platform help a company find their best interviewers? 

Our clients give us their business or employee performance data, such as sales quota attainment, and our platform compares those outcomes to the ratings and scores the interviewer gave a candidate. We have response-level ratings for each question for each candidate, and know which interviewers did — or did not — recommend a candidate. We can compare those ratings against which new candidates are hired and ultimately become top performers. That allows us to score a person’s ability to effectively rate candidates. It’s like a batting average for interviewers.

What if a company doesn't have employee performance data to work with?

We can still help companies evaluate interviewer effectiveness by comparing an interviewer's ratings to who gets hired (or not) with other members of the hiring team.

And what can that kind of data tell you about an interviewer?

You learn a lot of interesting things. Perhaps one interviewer recommended a lot of new hires during the past year, but only a handful of them went on to be strong performers, or are even still with the company. Or, the interviewer did not recommend several candidates who ultimately went on to be hired and became top performers. 

From the analysis you've done so far, what have you learned about what makes a good interviewer? 

One of the common mistakes is not going in with a plan or knowing exactly what you’re looking for — and why. It sounds so basic, but a lot of people jump into interviews blindly. The other side of that problem is when people don’t have a plan, they tend to evaluate the wrong attributes, or ones that don’t really matter.

That plan should drive everything, from the questions you ask to the specific evaluation criteria you evaluate against. You need a framework and ability to objectively evaluate candidates and compare them side by side.

At some point, that evaluation still needs to happen face-to-face, right? 

Absolutely. Video recruiting doesn't replace an in-person interview at all, but it does replace the traditional résumé screen. Nearly 50 percent of digital interviews are done outside of business hours. It's 24x7 recruiting. Candidates find them fairer since they get the same questions in the same order as every other candidate. And, most importantly, video enables candidates to tell their stories and demonstrate their abilities in a way that a résumé simply cannot.